Below the fold, I explain why Obama now has to be considered the prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic nomination.
Louisiana, Primary, 67 Delegates
Pledged Superdelegates– Obama: none. Clinton: none.
Analysis: In the pre-Katrina Louisiana Democratic primary of 2004, 52% of the electorate was non-white. That’s roughly the same profile as we saw in Alabama yesterday, where 51% of the electorate was black, and in Georgia where 52% of the electorate was black. Based on the results last night out of Alabama (O-56% C-42%) and Georgia (O-67%, C-31%), Obama has to be the heavy favorite in Louisiana.
Nebraska, Caucus, 31 Delegates
Superdelegates- Obama: Sen. Ben Nelson. Clinton: none.
Analysis: Obama swept caucus states last night in New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, Idaho, and Alaska, and he did it (except in New Mexico) by enormous margins. Obama’s endorsement by Ben Nelson seals the deal. Obama will win Nebraska and will win almost all of its delegates.
Washington, Caucus, 97 Delegates
Superdelegates- Obama: Rep. Adam Smith, Pat Notter (DNC). Clinton: Sen. Maria Cantwell, Sen. Patty Murray, Rep. Jay Inslee, Former Speaker Tom Foley (WA), Ron Sims (DNC).
Analysis: Obama has won every caucus contest that has been held. However, Clinton has the support of both Cantwell and Murray, and she will have no choice but to put forth a major effort here because her chances are so bad in Louisiana and Nebraska. She can little afford to get swept in all three states. That being said, Obama has to be the narrow favorite based on the fact that this is a caucus and not primary.
Maine, Caucus, 34 Delegates
Superdelegates- Obama: none. Clinton: Gov. John Baldacci, Ken Curtis (DNC).
Analysis: Again, this is a caucus format that has favored Obama so far in the nominating process. Clinton’s ace in the hole is the support of Governor Baldacci. However, this contest will come one day after Obama (most likely) sweeps Clinton in Louisiana, Nebraska, and Washington. While Clinton has done extremely well in neighboring New Hampshire and Massachusetts and cannot be counted out, I have to favor Obama as the likely winner in Maine.
District of Columbia, Primary, 37 Delegates
Superdelegates- Obama: Mayor Adrian Fenty, Dr. James Zogby (DNC), Arrington Dixon (DNC). Clinton: Mary Eva Candon (DNC), Yolanda Caraway (DNC), Hartina Flournoy (DNC), DNC Harold Ickes (DC), Ben Johnson (DNC), Eric Kleinfeld (DNC), Minyon Moore (DNC), Elizabeth Smith (DNC), Marilyn Tyler Brown (DNC), Gerald McEntee (DNC), Carol Pensky (DNC).
Analysis: First, while you might be inclined to dismiss the vote of a mere city, note that DC has more delegates to allocate than Maine. That’s a function of the overwhelming Democratic vote in the city. Hillary Clinton has no chance in this primary and may struggle to reach 15% of the vote.
Virginia, Primary, 103 Delegates
Superdelegates- Obama: Gov. Tim Kaine, Rep. Rick Boucher, Rep. Bobby Scott. Clinton: Terry McAuliffe (DNC), Jennifer McClellan (DNC), Mame Reiley (DNC), Lionel Spruill Sr., Susan Swecker (DNC).
Analysis: This is Hillary Clinton’s only chance on this day. And it isn’t a good chance. Gov. Tim Kaine is endorsing Obama and is regarded as a potential vice-presidential pick. Kaine will be working hard to get the vote out for Obama. All of Clinton’s efforts will go into Virginia, so she has to be given a chance to win here, but the edge goes to Obama.
Maryland, Primary, 99 Delegates
Superdelegates- Obama: Rep. Albert Wynn, Rep. Elijah Cummings, Karren Pope-Onwukwe (DNC). Clinton: Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Gov. Martin O’Malley, Rep. CA Dutch Ruppersberger, Nancy Kopp (DNC)
Analysis: Despite some great endorsements and the support of the Governor, no one expects Clinton to win Maryland.
[Meta Analysis: let’s pause here to note that Obama is strongly favored to win four of the next seven contests, and narrowly favored to win the remaining three. An Obama sweep of all seven contests is not unlikely. In order for Clinton to have much chance in the following contests, she will have had to win somewhere, whether it be Washington on the 9th, Maine on the 10th, or Virginia on the 12th. For the purposes of this analysis, I will assume she has avoided a shut-out and still has some viability.]
Hawaii, Caucus, 29 Delegates
Superdelegates- Obama: Rep. Neil Abercrombie. Clinton: Sen. Daniel Inouye.
Analysis: Clinton has the most important endorsement in Sen. Inouye, but that probably cannot overcome Obama’s homestate advantage (he was born in Honolulu).
Wisconsin, Primary, 92 Delegates
Superdelegates- Obama: Rep. Gwen Moore, Gov. Jim Doyle. Clinton: Rep. Tammy Baldwin, Tim Sullivan (DNC).
Analysis: This is Clinton’s last chance to turn the tide. Obama has the support of Gov. Doyle and hails from neighboring Illinois. Obama just dominated the caucuses in neighboring Minnesota last night. Nevertheless, this contest doesn’t really have an innate advantage for Obama. If he has momentum he will probably win it. If he does not have momentum, he could easily lose it.
[Meta analysis: should Clinton lose Wisconsin, the pressure will be overwhelming for her to concede, even though Obama will not have anywhere near the pledged delegates to wrap up the nomination. But, if she has won some early states like Washington, Maine, and Virgina, and she wins Wisconsin, she’ll probably soldier on.]
Ohio, Primary, 161 Delegates
Superdelegates- Obama: none. Clinton: Gov. Ted Strickland, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones.
Analysis: this is the first state we’ve discussed where Clinton probably has an innate advantage. The support of Gov. Strickland (a potential vice-presidential candidate) could be very helpful. Obama can win if he has built up a string of victories, but he’d probably lose badly if this primary were held today.
Rhode Island, Primary, 32 Delegates
Superdelegates- Obama: Rep. Patrick Kennedy (RI). Clinton: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rep. Jim Langevin, David Cicilline (DNC), William Lynch (DNC), Mark Weiner (DNC).
Analysis: The battle of endorsements might favor Clinton, or it might not. It’s hard to predict who would win this battle. Obama won Connecticut and Clinton won Massachusetts.
Texas, Open Primary/Closed Caucus hybrid, 228 Delegates
Superdelegates- Obama: Rep. Al Green, Moses Mercado (DNC). Clinton: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. Henry Cuellar, DNC Sue Lovell (DNC), Senfronia Thompson (DNC), Denise Johnson (DNC), Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, Rep. Gene Green, Rep. Solomon Ortiz.
Analysis: Clinton has a lot more Establishment support in Texas. Unless momentum overwhelms her, she has a decent chance to win Texas. In fact, she must win Texas to have an argument that she deserves the nomination.
Vermont, Primary, 23 Delegates
Superdelegates- Obama: Sen. Patrick Leahy, Rep. Peter Welch. Clinton: none.
Analysis: With the support of liberals and Sen. Leahy’s endorsement, Obama should win Vermont easily.
[Meta analysis: For Clinton to go beyond a mathematical chance to win a brokered convention to the point where the party will tolerate a brokered convention, she must have won some states (like Washington, Maine, Virginia, and Wisconsin) leading up to the March 4th contests. To maintain her viability, she must have won the majority of delegates on March 4th (probably through dual wins in Texas and Ohio). But even if she succeeds in stopping Obama’s momentum on March 4th, the road immediately returns to Obama-friendly territory.]
Wyoming, Caucus, 18 Delegates
Superdelegates- Obama: Peter Jorgenson (DNC), John Millin (DNC). Clinton: none.
Analysis: Based on other caucus states from this region, Obama has to be favored to crush in the Wyoming contest.
Mississippi, Primary, 40 Delegates
Superdelegates- Obama: Rep. Bennie Thompson, Johnnie Patton (DNC). Clinton: none.
Analysis: In the 2004 Democratic primary, 60% of the Mississippi electorate was non-white. Clinton has no chance in Mississippi.
[Meta analysis: At this point the nomination process takes a six week break until the April 22nd contest in Pennsylvania. Obama will be coming off resounding victories in Wyoming and Mississippi, and will have won the majority of the contests thus far. The delegate advantage probably will be insufficient for Obama to have sewn up the nomination, but the incontestable perception will be that he has won the contest. What rationale will Clinton use to justify a six-week scorched earth campaign to win in Pennsylvania? By this time it will probably be mathematically impossible for Clinton to win without superdelegates, and there’s no reason to believe that most of the superdelegates will be inclined to lean her way. This is the point at which the Clinton campaign will suffer deafening pressure to drop out and endorse Obama. But if she will not, the campaign will go on.]
Pennsylvania, Primary, 188 Delegates
Superdelegates- Obama: Rep. Patrick Murphy, Rep. Chaka Fattah. Clinton: Gov. Ed Rendell, Hon. TJ Rooney (DNC), Rep. Joe Sestak, Rep. Allyson Schwartz, Rep. Paul Kanjorsky, Rena Baumgartner (DNC), Jean Milko (DNC).
Analysis: Provided that Clinton has survived this long, she will have to win Pennsylvania, and she has the institutional support to pull it off. She has the support of Gov. Rendell, Philly Mayor Michael Nutter, and a host of others. If she doesn’t win here, it’s truly over. If she does win after a high profile six week campaign, Obama might come under pressure to drop out and endorse.
[Meta analysis: I don’t see much point in doing a state by state analysis beyond this point. If Clinton survives this long she will have some strengths going forward, with possible wins in Indiana and North Carolina on May 6th, West Virginia on May 13th, and Kentucky and Oregon on May 20th. Obama will be strong in the other three remaining contests in Montana, South Dakota, and Puerto Rico. If they split these, it could go to the convention for a fight among the superdelegates. But, as you can see from this analysis, Obama has enormous advantages. And I didn’t even factor in Obama’s huge and sure to grow money advantage.]